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Harlow Giles Unger Education. (2012) 'John Quincy Adams.'

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John Quincy Adams 33, John Adams 17, John Quincy 10, Washington 9, South America 5, France 5, Abigail 5, Jackson 4, United States 3, Russia 3, Paris 3, England 3, John Marshall 3, Abigail Adams 3, Benjamin Franklin 3, Adams 3, Quincy 2, Philadelphia 2, Samuel Chase 2, London 2,
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  CSPAN    Book TV    Harlow Giles Unger   
   Education.  (2012) 'John Quincy Adams.'  

    December 25, 2012
    6:00 - 7:00pm EST  

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differentiated them was your success will, but lucky the sense they were right on the key call, but in a different situation would've been wrong. it's not just that they have the supreme self-confidence to go had been upon us was telling them they're wrong. but they had the extraordinary level of intellectually ability required to acknowledge the possibility that they were wrong in a profound sense. what is the evidence that would prove i'm wrong? so when they were wrong, because zoonosis rate of the time, they could change course as lincoln did many times during the civil war. >> host: that's a rare combination.
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>> guest: these are characteristics captured. >> host: we are wrapping it up quickly. we just had a presidential election. the winner he was president already so he's been filtered for four years, but mitt romney. was he extremely filtered? >> guest: unfiltered without a doubt. in historical is not a lot of time in politics. had he won the presidency, he would've been second second only to wilson and arguably grover cleveland in terms of the shortness of his political career before he became president. >> host: well, listen, thank you. this is a fascinating books. alexis totino, the toes he says he don't know about it. >> guest: thank you very much.
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the fact that was, but tv signature programs in which authors are interviewed by policymakers, legislators and others familiar with their material. "after words" errors at 10:00 p.m. on saturday, 12:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. on monday. you can also watch "after words" online. go to booktv.org and click on the booktv series and topics list on the upper right side of the page. >> historian harlow giles unger recounts the life of the six president, john quincy adams who died in 1840. quincy adams, second president had a long career, which aside from his presidency 10 years as secretary of state, senator, congressman administered six countries. this is a little under an hour. [applause] >> thank you very much.
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i will start with a fairly simple question. was very moment when he said to yourself i need to write a biography of john quincy adams? >> yes, indeed there was. it took place a couple years ago when i ran out of ideas for any more books on the founding fathers. others have written on washington, jefferson, madison and i had written on patrick henry, james monroe, john hancock. so i pulled out john f. kennedy's pulitzer prize-winning book, profiles in courage and daring chapter one was john quincy adams. so i thought his name begins begins with a comma on the season chapter one. but i was not the reason. john kennedy himself a war hero had listed these characters in order of the degree of coverage and he placed john quincy adams
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first among the most courageous senators and congressmen in american has terry. he was not just the sixth president of the united states. he was a congressman as well for 16 years and a senator for four. most americans don't realize he was a congressman. many don't even know he was president. >> well, you're going to change that. >> yes. he was this enormously courageous congressmen, the first congressman to stand up and call for emancipation before linking even knew how to spell the word. >> will get back to institution in a moment. a friend of mine who is a lawyer said to mean the other day, i read two biographies of john quincy adams. here's his question. what is needed to be said?
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>> lots of things are new to be said. few people have read his diary. his diary is one of the most marvelous document in american history. it's 14,000 pages. when he was 10 years old, his father urged him to start chronicling events in his daily life and he started it became an addict and one of the most literate diarists in history. his diary covers all of the events. he lived 90 years, so his diary starting at 10 covered all the formative years of american history. in his life, he served under george washington and alongside abraham lincoln and house of representatives. so his life spanned from his public life started at the dawn
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of the american revolution and continued to either the civil war. he knew of the great characters during that period aside from washington and lincoln he knew jefferson, lincoln, madison, monroe. he knew of the duke of wellington, frederick the great, jeremy benson, charles dickens. he knew them all. their instrument and he speaks of them, right for them and tells of his life with them in this wonderful diary that few people have read from beginning to end. >> have you quick >> yes. all 14,000 pages. >> your book notes that it's online. it's www.-- >> just put john adams diaries or massachusetts historical
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society. john quincy adams diaries and that will pull the thing you can see every page is buried. >> and it's handwritten. has anyone typed it out? >> i don't know. i don't think so. >> the first to volume seven published in book form, but that low. >> good penmanship. >> yes, very good. >> very readable. >> he kept it up until three weeks before his death. he died in the house of representatives that 80 years of age. >> to back up for people who are not history majors, just the political scene of the party, the federalists and democrats/republicans and how we think of democrats and republicans dissociate totally different situation. >> we don't think of libertarians. >> some do.
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we'll given equal time. socialist workers. >> i would hope so. >> explained the political situation that john quincy adams went into as he was going into the white house. >> actually come the beginning of these political situations really began after the revolutionary war set in this country and congress had no power. the cardinal had no power to tax, no power to raise troops. he was simply a debating society for leaders from the various states to argue different policies. the states were almost at war with each other. the states were independent, sovereign nations in effect and the leaders from various dates begin to realize they need a stronger federal government to reroute archons dictation.
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many, many americans were posted to comp dictation and he became the anti-federalist. they were the federalist and anti-federalist, bitterly opposed to each other from the very beginning, from the signing of the constitution. the anti-federalist gradually became no as republican and democrat republicans. so when john quincy adams was running for office, you now how the republicans or democrat republicans running against the federalist and he was the last of the federalists. the federalist rambis from the beginning, washington and the people who ran the country were really friendly elite. the constitution only other property owners.
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gradually universal suffrage came in, not universal involving women. don't get your hopes up too high it was white male suffrage, but she didn't have to be a property owner and that was what pushed to the elite out of power. adams, jefferson, monroe's, all these great plantation owners and property owners and elite leaders really permitted the growth of jacksonian democracy as we call it now. >> your book opens with a scene that's worthy of a movie. 1777 i believe when john quincy adams is 10 years old i believe in him his father on a boat going to england. could you describe that, being chased by the british? >> john adams had been a member of the cotton in the congress
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and was one of the co-authors and signers of the declaration of independence. what we're running out of money, congress could not tax the american people, but i could borrow money and it appointed john adams to go to france to borrow, to try to raise money in france from the french government to pay for the revolution and he decided to take his 10-year-old son john quincy adams with his firstborn son, the oldest of his three sons. john quincy adams i then was a devoted teacher yet at seven years old when his father was in the cotton of congress. his mother, abigail adams, she took her boy to the top of the hill behind their farmhouse in quincy, massachusetts and they could look across boston date and so the battle of bunker
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hill. and she took her boy by the hand became back down to the farmhouse and begin minting on the family pewter to make musket for the patriot and she told her son at that time, she said, you must rise to the height of your country. if you don't succeed, it will be because of your own laziness, slovenliness in austin and this you must make a firm resolution in favor of virtue, integrity and love of your country. that is how john and abigail adams raised her boy from the beginning, the oldest son to be virtue is, honest and to let him serve his country. so when john adams was sent to france, he decided to take his
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10-year-old firstborn son with him, to be with him, to be together, grow closer to each other because they had been separated. jonathan said in the cotton of congress and the boy was that abigail in quincy. so he wanted to be assigned, but he also wanted to exposes them to a european education into the world of international affairs in the world of diplomacy. and they went to sea with benjamin franklin and benjamin franklin's lavish ch√Ęteau outside paris at the time and john quincy adams went to a french school with benjamin franklin's grandson. within several, he was speaking french folly. he was a gifted child. by the time he was 15 he could speak four languages fought late, had rd studied latin and
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greek. he was so gifted in foreign languages or when the family friend, francis daniel was appointed ambassador, minister to russia, our first minister to russia, he couldn't speak french at the time french was not the language of international diplomacy. there's always the language spoken in the russian court. francis couldn't speak french. young john quincy could and asked john could he take john quincy adams within two st. petersburg as secretary of litigation is 16 years of age. john quincy adams goes up two st. petersburg and spends the europe they are. in the wintertime, it was too cold to really venture out. so john quincy adams on his son
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had the sensational appetite for learning. on his own he studied it lame history of england, six volumes of edward gibbons, decline and fall of the roman empire. adam smith's two volume work on the wealth of nations, great economic word. he kept studying latin. he read the latin poets in cicero and avenue. he read the english poet. he had this insatiable appetite for learning. at 16 i was still studying uncle wiggly. but i read it in latin because i went to heal instead of harvard. >> i take it as a politician in our modern sense of the word female black the common touch. >> very few of the leaders of
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this country did at the time. they were all university graduates except for george washington and george washington was an autodidact commotion so fed 6000 books. this was an elite. constitution did not give liberty to the ordinary man. all it did was replace the king with the president. but it gave congress the same right. congress could tax. the constitution did not provide liberty for the american people. if the government into the hands of a property elite and was a white male that ran this country for the first year of our nation. >> house on to put it to slavery
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come from? >> he believed in justice and he felt this was a great evil, but most of the leaders did feel george washington currently on said there was no man who most sincerely wants to see an end to slavery in this country. he called it a great evil. slavery was not something the founding fathers invented. slavery was invented by the english and spanish and french and early on in the 18th century before the founding fathers were born, when their fathers and grandfathers were alive, they're only 15 to 20,000 slaves in this country and the people of virginia petitioned the claim to end slavery.
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they found slaves a burden. saves a reader ray. they were illiterate in their unskilled and tobacco farmers needed skilled hands and they knew that northern firms were more efficient with paying workers by the peace. the slavery was the basis of the english and spanish and french economy good queen and rejected titian from virginians as did the three king george is the ability of our founding fathers came along, you had half a million slaves. what are they going to go? what could you do with them quiet they were largely unskilled and there were no opportunities in the south and went into another plantation. there were no villages and towns
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and cities in the north. in the north people could free slaves with opportunities in manufacturing where they could learn skills and trades. couldn't do that in the south. the only opportunity for work or for field hands and when the cotton gin was invented, and that absorbed all the slaves unskilled laborer and you now have i plantation owner, this rather cruel lower middle income people buying property in planting cotton prior to that, most of the poor whites in the south were against slavery because the slaves competed with them for jobs. but unlike most politicians come he put his political career on the line in favor of abolition.
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>> he was the first to stand up and he led the fight turned his congressional career, which really began after his presidency. he failed to be really did to the presidency. you brought this up before because he didn't have the common touch. he believed it was the need for dignity of a presidential candidate to go stumping out in the countryside and make promises to people he knew he couldn't keep and unfortunately candidates today don't do that. johnny quincy adams set an example for them. but his pledge was to do what was best for the country. the people to not reelect him. he went to congress and started fighting for justice, always voting, never voting for either political party. he rejected both parties and
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started fighting for justice for the entire country. it is a gifted lawyer, one of the great lawyers in american history, leading many precedent cases before the supreme court, including the one that freed the 36 cap is on board the slave ship amistad commend those of you who saw the film for anthony hopkins is the role of john quincy adams. it didn't make it clear in the film how important a case this was because his plea, his argument put a whole new complexion on the slave trade. it made the slave trade illegal because his argument was these africans were for human who had been kidnapped and simply rose up in self-defense to kill their
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kidnappers, captain and mate of the ship. so the slave trade was no longer a slave trade. it is a kidnapping ring and therefore illegal. they made the slave trade illegal and was the first step in our movement towards emancipation and people began rallying around him as the southerners and house of representatives tried to shut him out as he pleaded for emancipation. that aroused northerners. the quakers at first and others who realized john quincy on this was a devout christian is that this goes against all fundamentals of christianity. patrick henry said the same thing and soon you have this abolition movement beginning to grow and grow. the more they try to silence john quincy adams, the more he spoke out.
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they passed a categorical, making it against the rules of the house to use the word slavery. anytime you trade the essay, the speaker of the house from tennessee to my future president polk city is out of order and southerners would shout them down saying order, order. so he started pulling out petitions from his constituents at first, but then over the country because citizens have a right to petition congress for regressive grievances. so he asked for the abolition of slavery. they would shout shut him up, shut him up. i'm simply reading it from the petitions. >> wouldn't you love to have c-span be around then? and i believe you rate the origin of the term gag rule came about because of atoms.
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he also had a friendship that jefferson was a slave owner more than that. how did that work? >> it didn't work well at all. it started out when he was very young in paris. jefferson had lost one of his daughters and his wife and when jefferson got to paris as our ambassador there, he was really forewarned and quite lonely and he started hanging out at john adams house for john adams appurtenant and john quincy was a youngster is it taking john quincy to museums and concert coming up are a. john adams later wrote to jefferson. john adams and jefferson later in life had wonderful correspondence between two of
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them and john adams wrote thomas jefferson to john quincy had become more of a sent to you think jimmy. so that so close he was to jefferson as a boy. later on jefferson comes to power in the kittens against the grain as far as john quincy adams was concerned. he was a strict constitutionalists. jefferson pretended to, but he was a hypocrite in so many ways. he rates the declaration of independence that all men are created equal, urges and doesn't fire a shot in the war and goes to monticello to watch his slaves from the plantation. >> and more than that. >> so they fell out later on in the political lives.
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later when both jefferson and john adam's father had retired, they began corresponding with each other and formed a warm friendship a meal. john quincy adams, who voted for jefferson. he was the only federalist to vote for jefferson louisiana purchase and john quincy adams was senator. but then turned around and five jeffersons attend to impeach and remove samuel chase from the supreme court. samuel chase was a strong federalist and jefferson was intent on getting control of the entire government. he was a republican, now had a republican majority in the house of representatives. a slight majority in the senate. he wanted to remove the federalist from the bench to get
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republicans on that and get control of the entire government and the republicans in the house impeached him. he went to trial. samuel chase went to trial in the senate and when the arguments are finished, the first to go was john quincy adams and he stood and voted not guilty and that set off the flood of not guilty is. many republicans voted not guilty. so it's a rejection rejection of jefferson's attempt to redefine political dissent has a high crime and misdemeanor. >> to go back to the presidential campaign of 1824 and 1828, if you didn't go around giving speeches, what did he do? >> you believe the american people should have good sense, common sense to judge a man on the basis of his talents and his accomplishments and he was wrong
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he actually did not win the most votes in the first election. andrew jackson won more popular votes than he did, but jackson did not have a majority dialect grow college. so the presidential race has been thrown in the house of representatives and the probability is john quincy adams absolutely despise taoist terror fate of the jacksonian presidency. he said he was the barbarians who could hardly write his name. so we got together with henry clay who had the third most of those in the presidential election and promised clay to be secretaries date in the two pooled their votes together in the house of representatives and that's a quincy adams was select it to the president the period
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and the next election, jackson had gone around the country, building a popular majority in getting laws changed from state to state to state in which providing for universal white male suffrage, which took a vote out of the hands of property owners and give it to barbarians as john quincy adams may say. the bank if there was a deal with clay in 1824, was that ethical bystanders of those days and retrospectively by our standards? >> is certainly what is ethical in those days. he took a lot of flak for it, but the choice in his mind was to turn the country over to a barbarians who couldn't write his name, who had violated the constitution that will turn the word of 1812, con into massacre
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in the seminal sender and enduring whatever he felt like doing. he did not want to see this man president. >> one point in the book he described a bit of a crouch. teaching to afflict him as a person? >> yes. >> there is some time travel involved. >> all of us are brooches at times. he did not suffer fools, so you would be grouchy. i was grouchy last night when romney said we have fewer ships today than we had in 1917. i was grouchy when obama said some mean. john quincy adams was this fabulously learned man who had
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studied history. the reason for the monroe doctrine, and south america and the various countries were beginning to rebel against spanish king and the french team and they were going to send and put down rebellions in english would keep the french from growing to south america. they invited americans to join in keeping the french out of south america because south america was rich with all the gold and silver. john quincy adams was secretary of state and said absolutely not, were not going to get involved in foreign wars. we're not going to let them come over here either. the seeds were planted for the
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monroe doctrine. it was part of monroe's annual message and he announced his cabinet for help in putting together some sort of statement, making our international policy clear. john quincy adams wrote the corporate vision of god. there are three long paragraphs that now call the monroe doctrine. he tells the europeans he does not want to get involved in wars. we don't want anything to do. you stay out of our affairs. the band of the colonial era had come to an end. you can no longer consider americas as father for colonial aspirations and any attempt to colonize will be considered a threat to the united states. >> your book mentions, but doesn't dwell on family
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troubles. the adams family had some serious drinking problems. this is not a problem. it is a genetic trait and in the states is very clear that alcohol is the most genetic because it didn't have any sacred therapy for treatment available. the gene was passed along to abigail's family. she was born abigail smith and her brother died of alcoholism. >> do we know much about uncle williams? >> he drank a lot. >> he abandoned his family. he disappeared? >> no, he died of alcoholism. there is no treatment. he died very early either some accident because you are out of
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control or you died of cirrhosis of the liver or brain damage, but he died of alcoholism. her brother died of alcoholism. her three sons, john quincy adams two brothers died of alcoholism into a john quincy adams three sons died of alcoholism. his firstborn, george washington adams died in his late 20s. the second bully, the youngest boy charros also died of it in one of the three sons survived as did several of the greatest sins. but this is a genetic trait in the smith family, just as in the quincy family, a treat of genius, which went back to 1066 in the battle of hastings, crossing of the channel --
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quincy is a village or town in normandy, which still exists and the english obviously corrupt at the spelling to quincy. and with william the conqueror tastiness, a bearing to quincy is at 1215, with when they signed the magna carta. so this line of leadership in genius grant through the quincy says hello is alcoholism ran through the smith family. >> pages have a few more questions and then we'll open it up to the audience. again, this is a time travel question. if you could interview john quincy adams in your time for one question, what might it be? >> why did you beat your wife? now, if i had one question to ask him, i think i would ask
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him -- are you talking about today's society are his society? >> either way. you could go back or bring him here i guess. >> if we went back, i would ask him why he didn't try harder to remain president of the united states and to get congress under his control. he was so brilliant as a congressman, a senator, secretary of state. he was truly one of the geniuses of early american political society and we could have used him, his leadership as the president and i think we might well, although he thought the civil war was inevitable. but that was his experience in the house of representatives. if he had been president, he might have been able to have averted the civil war and brought an end to slavery in
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another way. >> how would he have done that? >> he had the year of the moderate federalists. a state extremists in both political parties. well, there are extremists in. they're separatists among federalists in new england and new york to succeed from the union and let the south do whatever it wants to do. that would've been a betrayal. by then, 500,000 slaves with no hope of freedom. he i think would've called those extremists don't, but more important he had the year of the moderate federalists, like those on the supreme court, especially john marshall who was although a virginian, oppose slavery and
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wanted to work to end slavery. then i wanted to work to end slavery. patrick honey, who is an anti-federalist in our two republican to the left wanted to work and was working with quaker leaders to try to find some solution to the slavery problem. so i think with so many come he could have united the people with goodwill to address this problem, whereas jackson polarize the nation and is the beginning of polarization that would never end to the civil war. >> one more question to me and this is a reverse time travel question. if we could bring john quincy adams to our day, what do you think you would like and not like about america in 2012? >> he would despise our
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involvement overseas, it tends to dictate to other society is the of societies they have to have. when he had the opportunity as secretary of state to entering because monroe would have done whatever he said. to intervene in south america, pro-democracy movement but his peak. he pointed out these people had no history of self-government. religiously or politically they had never been exposed to self-government. religion didn't tolerate it in political culture and family culture does not tolerate it. this is a lost cause. we must not involve ourselves. so he would not involve less in trying to change the culture of the people in the middle east. these are people with no
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history, political history or religious history of self-government. they don't know what it means. >> and what would you like? >> i'm not quite sure what he was late. >> even federalists would be appalled at the federal government intrusion in our lives today. it is in every area of our lives. veterans commit the troops bedrooms, living rooms, garages, rose, everywhere the federal government is in our lives and that would have appalled the most extreme federalists who founded this type of government. the first thing he would done, patrick and i would have gone right along with him. they would've gone in your bedroom and threats of attack that tag for the mattress.
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>> will entertain questions for the audience. they urge you in homage brian lamb, founder of c-span who tuning asks the best questions, which are simple and direct, we can emulate playing tonight, that would be good. go ahead. >> the suggestion that abigail has for her children, which was virtue and loyalty. >> virtual, integrity and love of country. >> with a virtue can appear 10 cents a virtue was that virtue in the sense of mac belly? >> it was in this sense of service to your society. his parting words to his heirs, john quincy adams before he died, he knew that his one
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surviving son was already becoming an accomplished citizen. he would later become a president for vice candidate and his grandson, henry adams was a brilliant writer who later became a distinguished historian. he left this to his heirs. he said you must have one important purpose in life to use your talent and knowledge for the benefit of your country and for the use of mankind. any adams has come within any other family but any other founding father who continue to serve his country generation after generation did get a nice jurists, historians, scholars of all types. wonderful attorneys. i met two young men, probably not young anymore, about 10, 15
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years ago at my club one night. we just got talking to each other. i didn't know who they were and finally we introduced each other. they were both attorneys. one was named sam adams and the other was john adams. and sam adams is a direct descendent of john adams and john adams was a direct descendent of sam adams. >> and they seem to stay out of the news, which is probably good, unlike some political families. >> is there a place people can go? >> yes, there is a national park in quincy, the john adams national park, where you can see the lifelong homes of two generations of atoms is in the younger generation kept them up for a while, but they'll drifted into the cities.
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both the original homer john adams was born and a second small homer john quincy adams was born i dare open to visitors and a large home that john built in his retirement with abigail, beautifully furnished with many things that abigail. everyone talks about founding fathers may forget to talk about founding others. martha washington was at valley forge with george and abigail adams turkey on john quincy to the top to watch the battle of bunker go and then worked hard to support, to hope that feature their cause while her husband was in philadelphia. >> another question. go ahead. [inaudible]
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>> absolutely. louisa adams was born lisa john. her father was the american old in london. when the two of them that, she was born in london, but her parents were americans and brilliantly educated, perfect wife for john quincy. she hadn't education at home, but she could read in latin and greek is very well-versed in history and literature. so they fell in love and had a long, warm marriage of 50 years, more than 50 years. they had their ups and downs. they had their status as most family do in more than their share is a tragedy was subject to many missed carriages, suffered three or four miscarriages. they lost one little girl.
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they doted when she was just a year old. she guided dysentery in st. petersburg, russia and two of the three boys died of alcoholism. the only sound that survived, charles francis gave them some grandchildren, said they doted over the grandchildren for quite a while. most of the time they were very coming very happy. he mentioned he was a grouch and he lives. i can explain it. i think if i had a few minutes as could have been. when they were in berlin, the recess of forgiveness carriage and was quite pale and the empress, frederickstamper said to her, try putting some were shot. well, she came downstairs with the rouge on her face and john
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quincy grabbed her, put on his lap and rubbed it off. so they have their stats from time to time and when they separated, not a legal separation, but john quincy adams couldn't afford when he was a senator, wintering philadelphia and go back and forth and back and forth all the time. one of them had to stay put but the children. she decided to stay put up the children so she could be near her mother and brothers and sisters. he went to quincy and was freezing cold one night in right to let her saying that i know i can live without you, but on this cold february night, i would much prefer to live with
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you. >> the love letters of the president. other question. [inaudible] -- of the parties because i sort of a vague notion that after the selected the federalists faded out more and more and meanwhile, you know, the secretary of state. monroe is basically republican, right? side of that work out with his father? his father was not getting along well with republicans at that stage. >> his father left office after one term and was no longer in office in the completely out of the political picture entirely, had nothing more to do. hamilton had destroyed his political career with the
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election of jefferson. john adams and john quincy adams were very, very close, very warm relationship from early child hood when john quincy was only 10. but the row constantly. [inaudible] talking about father son. they row constantly to each other. john adams was always there for his son and vice versa. that was a very warm relationship between the two and john adams and louisa for the very warm relationship and they row for years until john adams to in 1826. [inaudible] >> by then the world had changed and he was proud of his son.
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he was quite an old man almost dying when his son was elected president. he was terribly proud of his son. really by then, in the jefferson era, everything jefferson did -- not everything, that many of the things proved wrong. he tried to keep us out of the french english conflict and imposed an embargo on all foreign trade. so suddenly america was shut down. he had in his head that americans are self-sufficient. we don't need to be involved in foreign trade. he put the coastal cities out of business, but the merchant bankers said business, ship loading industry out of business and put our merchant marine out of business. he couldn't trade. superthin, jefferson was doing his own course.
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[inaudible] >> his son was a senator and i first voted for the embargo and then voted against it and did talk jefferson out of it with a new policy whereby we would trade. we wouldn't trade with france or britain until they stopped attacking our ships. but we would trade with the rest of the world and that would reopen trade routes. >> i found it interesting that back then the secretary of state was a steppingstone for the presidency, does not have been in a long time. >> the secretary of state had far more responsibility from a far wider than they are today. remember the indians were considered a foreign nation. so that fell under the state department. everything that would fall under the department of interior fell
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on the state department. the state department school was far broader than it is today and he really ran the country. when men were out in his last days, john quincy items is really running the country. madison is doing the same thing in monroe is doing the same thing last days of medicine. and it really was a step is done. he was the most visible powerful member of the cabinet. that's what would cause such a big fracture in the washington cabinet because hamilton challenged jefferson. jefferson the secretary of state. hamilton was secretary of treasury. jefferson was slow getting back to france. so hamilton took over many of the duties of the secretary of state and he didn't want to relinquish him. he liked power. >> other questions? go ahead.
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>> mr. unger, how young were you when you recognized it had an extraordinary aptitude to immerse yourself in the soul of your subjects and their society? [laughter] >> i think it was just this morning when you called me a tiered i'm not sure how to answer your question. i've been a journalist all my life and what i write today is nothing more than an extension of journalism. i don't really rate these books. i let the characters speak for themselves. i feel as if i'm interviewing them and let them tell their own stories. [inaudible] >> now, i played with my rubber ducky. >> what are you doing next?
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>> i'm working on development of the supreme court and john marshall and how he salvaged the supreme court from jefferson. it's really the story of what happened around the year 1800, which is a year turmoil in this country, were all these primary characters. george washington had just died and for the first time we were without the father our country. all of these men who had been secondary characters are all heroes for the revolutionary war. all of them. aronberg, alexander hamilton, james know. they all winter to valley forge. they'll love this country, fought and bled for, but they were all ambitious men in their ambitions came to the floor in the year 1800 more than any
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other time and collided with each other. hamilton, err, jefferson, all collated in the year 1800 john marshall also heroes of the revolutionary wars appointed as a record that had been emasculated until then. >> you get into naming the greatest generation generation, which you have to name one, what would it be? >> some people are defining father surrendered the greatest generation despite tom brokaw for world war ii. >> i would say the greatest generation politically in terms of love of country. when you heard the generation of the founding fathers, when you heard eisenhower speak, for example, you knew he's upped his country. john kennedy. you knew he loved his country.
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i didn't get that feeling from either of his class the other night in the debate. i didn't hear it either of them say they love their country. >> to me, talking about the founding fathers of these are people that could've easily been hung. >> at all committed treason. this was a british -- they were british subjects and they sought to overthrow the rule of the british king and parliament. not at first. only weeks before they signed the declaration of independence, they appealed to king, to give parliament off their backs. they said we want to remain british subjects and continued to rule of the british king. the king smiled and reject that
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it. and the other questions? on that note, we will let harlow sign some books. i thank everyone for coming and especially our author for writing the book can make an assault possible. [applause] >> for more information, visit the author's website, harlow giles unger.com. >> if we turn away from the needs of others, we align ourselves with those forces, which are bringing about the suffering. >> it is a bully pulpit to iraq to take advantage of it. >> obesity in this country is nothing short of a health
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crisis. >> and told me when somebody had their own agenda. >> so much influence. it would be just a shame. >> i think the services window on the path to what was going on with american women. ..
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. >> there was too much looking down, and i think it was a little too fast. not enough change. >> she is probably the most tragic of all of our first ladies. they never should've married. >> she may have wrote in her memoir and she said i myself never made any decision. i only decided what was important. and when to present to my husband. when you stop and think about how much power that is, that's a lot of power. >> part of the battle against cancer is to fight the fear that it accompanies with the disease. >> she transformed the way we look at these bugaboos, and she made it possible for countss